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China central gov’t lends versatile support to film industry

Updated: Jul 20,2015 9:36 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s central government spent 290 million yuan ($46.7 million) supporting the making of quality film projects last year, official figures show.

The beneficiaries were 217 films covering drama, children, rural life, education, documentary, animation, among other genres, according to sources with the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) on July 19.

China’s movie industry ushered in an era of rapid development following reforms in 1993 and 2002, with measures including lifting government control of film distribution, giving cinema chains freedom to set prices, and consolidating film production agencies into bigger, more effective cooperatives.

Last year, films generated a revenue of almost 30 billion yuan, 32 times that of 2002.

On July 19, the SARFT announced that box office on July 18 surpassed 400 million yuan, a single day record in the country’s history. The biggest contributor was domestic fantasy-comedy “Monster Hunt,” which brought in 180 million yuan.

According to the SARFT, the government also poured 444 million yuan into the construction and upgrade of more than 700 county-level digital cinemas in the underdeveloped central and western regions in the first half of 2015, with another 334 million yuan for building cinemas in impoverished regions.

As part of a drive to boost the development of the country’s cultural industry, 194 million yuan was allocated to support the use of high technology in film production, film companies’ overseas expansion, construction of professional film-themed websites, among other aspects.

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